The Year of the Sheep was not my year. It was generally disappointing, depressing and discouraging all around. Early on, there was a troubling occurrence at work. I failed in my attempt to do another marathon. My father’s health worsened, which was compounded by his desperate experiment with a pseudo-medical quack institution. Although I don’t express it aloud, my father’s health weighed heavily on my mind. All these things contributed to an almost yearlong cohabitation with depression. I lost interest in things I cared about and loved the most, even singing and music in general, something which I could not imagine ever happening. I didn’t care, an attitude which extended to my own health. I stopped self-monitoring my blood glucose; I loosened up a lot on my diet; I did a lot more sitting than exercising. I went through big chunks of evenings and weekends doing, and thinking of, nothing. I had been mostly coasting along in the trough.
But, by some miracle, I’m emerging from this almost dark hole I found myself in. This was triggered by my experience on New Year’s Eve. I was at a club, where more than three-quarters of the people who paid to get in spent their time sitting down, looking bored or taking endless selfies, and burying their faces and typing away on their mobile phones or tablets, probably sharing their “grand” time at the club. I wondered, Why pay to get in if you’re just going to sit down, especially on New Year’s Eve? To those addicted to selfies, really, how much more narcissistic can you be? (A lot more apparently.) There were a few people who at least talked to each other, danced, or bobbed their heads with the music (I can still see this elderly Chinese woman, obviously a tourist, who had no mobile phone, thoroughly enjoying club music). But generally, all I could see were the tops of people’s heads over their lit phones. I found the scene so pathetic that I suddenly felt good. At least, even with me down a hole, I can say that I had a life. As 2016 waltzed in, I resolved to get that life back.
I began by going for my quarterly bloodwork. My A1c was slightly over 6%. While I was anticipating a far worse number, I have not been out of the 5% club in seven years. So, despite the fact that I have not been a good Type 2 diabetic, I was slightly crestfallen with my A1c. My endo looked at me kindly and told me not to worry. But at the same time he warned me sternly to watch my carbs and increased my metformin dosage to (in his words) “help you return to your previous levels”. He then reminded me once again to watch my carbs, and to lose the small amount of weight I gained in the previous three months.
I’ve returned to exercising, with walks and skiing. Last weekend, the ski slopes punished me for my lamentable lack of fitness. Not only did I ache all over after skiing, I had no stamina while taking on the slopes. That’s all the reminder I needed to work on getting my fitness back this year.
I have started pricking my fingers again to check my blood glucose. I stopped self-monitoring long enough for my fingers to forget how painful it can be, even with very slim lancets. I’ll just have to keep wincing until I get used to the discomfort of self-monitoring, which doesn’t take long.
I’ve started reverting to my previous way of eating. Basically that means forgoing rice, noodles and pasta which found a way of becoming a staple in my diet last year. I have also requested my generous office roommate to stop tempting me with chocolate covered wafers and cookies, and he has kindly agreed.
As you can see, I’m well on the way to getting my diabetic life back on track. No matter how miserable 2015 was for me, I relearned some important lessons. Life will throw me a curveball; it may do so one at a time, but sometimes three, four or more at the same time. When that happens, I know I can count on family, friends (online and offline), work (yes, work and not vacation) and more importantly my husband to get me through. I’m never ever alone, and all the difficulties will eventually pass. I just have to hang in there. Most importantly, I have to have faith in myself. That’s something that many probably have difficulty remembering during difficult times; I know I have. But however difficult you think life could be, if you can weather the challenges, life will reward you and you come out a winner.
It’s just the start of the year but I have a great feeling about this year. I was born in the Year of the Monkey, and I’m a Monkey, so this is definitely my year. I don’t go for superstitions; however, after a dismal 2015, the Year of the Monkey cannot go anywhere but up.